One of the main issues we hear from the sales managers we work with is that they have trouble keeping their teams motivated.
Here's a quiz on motivation for sale managers.
Is a salesperson more likely to be motivated to sell for a company that helps him/her grow in knowledge and skills than for a company that doesn't care if the salesperson grows or develops? (Easy quiz, huh?)
Salespeople stay motivated when they understand the skill and psychology behind professional sales, when they understand the difference between selling and consulting, and when they experience more success than failure.
How do organizations expect a salesperson to remain motivated when they keep running into the same roadblocks? The list includes price shopping, wrong decision-maker, free consulting, chase mode and more.
Most salespeople get motivated when they know how to do better at sales and avoid some of the typical, costly mistakes that occur without training and knowledge.
Sales managers: If you want to motivate your sales team, spend time with them in the field. Help them build the required knowledge and skills. The time spent in the field shows you care about their growth as a professional. The salesperson will improve and, because of your efforts, will be motivated to continue working for you and the company.
Is a salesperson more likely to be motivated by being on a top-gun sales team or by being on a sales team that takes any applicant?
Motivated salespeople get even more so when you raise the bar of excellence. For example: We have just viewed the world's most talented athletes in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. They trained for many years to compete in the Olympics. I wonder how motivated or committed these athletes would be if they knew an average athlete could qualify for the games? Even these highly motivated and talented individuals would train less because the standard for excellence had been lowered.
Sales and salespeople are no different. If you expect more, you will get more. Motivated and talented salespeople want to be part of an elite sales team.
When I was a vice president of sales, I raised the bar many times for my team. The standards may have been better margin business, certain product sales, higher sales goals, different type of clients, public speaking or mentoring new sales representatives. My motivated and talented salespeople never let me down. When I raised the bar, they grabbed it with both hands and pulled themselves to the top. Why?
A key to motivating salespeople is helping them achieve new levels of success they never thought possible. Do you think a few Olympic coaches helped their athletes achieve a new level of success during the 2010 Olympics? How motivated are those same athletes to train harder and get better for the next Olympics? Help your sales team achieve and watch a more motivated sales team go after and win more business.
Is a salesperson more likely to be motivated by working for a sales manager that recognizes and appreciates their good work or for one who just expects them to get the job done because they are getting paid a good commission?
Recognition and appreciation are two of the cheapest things to show and often two of the least-expressed. Studies show salespeople don't leave companies because of compensation; they leave because of lack of recognition and appreciation, which affects their desire to work for the company.
It's not just about walking up and down the halls, patting backs and shaking hands. Sincere recognition and appreciation is done by paying attention and being specific about what your motivated salesperson has done right. Showing appreciation doesn't have to be fancy or complicated.
As a sales manager, I made it a point to start each week with success stories from the entire sales team on voice mail and/or e-mail.
Another effective way I recognized my sales team was to make them "experts." Find a specific area in which they excel, anything from getting past gatekeepers to client-retention practices or selling a specific product line. Make that salesperson the expert by letting them present at a sales meeting, serve in focus groups, participate on a panel or mentor new sales representatives.
When I had a team of experts, each salesperson learned from other team members. Each grew stronger in their area of expertise by teaching and sharing. Each felt their input contributed to the overall company goals. The result was a sales team that continually improved, and felt appreciated and part of an elite team.
Motivate your team by helping members improve their sales skills. Raise the bar of excellence and show appreciation for a job well done.
Your biggest new problem may be how to harness all their energy.